Well, she's out. Patty is the gay Simpsons character. I predicted it as soon as I heard that a character would come out of the closet, but everyone predicted it, so there isn't anything too special about that. I wanted to just briefly address what I thought was a problem with the episode: it wasn't too liberal, it wasn't too conservative (fun was pointed at both fairly evenly), the problem was that it was only one or the other.
People seem to think that you are either for gay rights or against them, either for traditional marriage or against it. People seem to think that there is no middle ground. I reject exactly this view. I have established myself as somewhere between these extremes, a fan of both legal equality and preservation of the institution of marriage. I wrote a post a while ago about this issue (read it here).
I know I'm not alone in this view. Many people feel that marriage is something different than a civil right. Many people feel we can provide the essential "rights" (more accurately described as privileges - again, see my previous post) to homosexuals without resorting to an institutionalized form. There are a lot of people who see the validity in two arguments - that discrimination and homosexual marriage are both wrong - and who want to work to a solution that addresses both of these positions. Why is this middle so widely ignored? Why does the media insist on reducing the issue to two positions?
I don't know. Maybe it would be too difficult for The Simpsons to work this middle ground into a half hour show. Maybe the middle position just isn't as conducive to humor as the two extremes. Maybe by ridiculing both sides the middle ground is actually furthered (I doubt it, when the two extremes are played against each other, but maybe).
But I don't want to leave this at The Simpsons alone - the problem is much wider. People who only see two sides are the real problem. The people who think there are only democrats and republicans, liberals and conservatives. It is the fools who dichotomize everyone that are precisely what is wrong with this country.
And for the most part the people who dichotomize are exactly the people who are one or the other. So the left can run around blaming the right and the right can run around blaming the left but anyone who willingly takes on either one of those classifications is the piece of shit type of person who causes the problems in the first place! Yeah, that's right, I'm saying it! Go to hell leftists! Go to hell rightists! You know I'm talking to you, and I'm not afraid to say it! YOU are what is wrong with this country. You think you got the answers but you don't even know the question! Try shutting your cake-hole for a minute and looking at the real issues. Right and left are both are blind and deaf, but they sure as hell ain't mute. Maybe its the fact that I'm in lawschool in D.C., but there is so much horseshit pretense and posturing, no one takes responsibility and both sides are more concerned with pointing fingers than figuring out solutions. I'm so damn sick of hearing from the liberals and conservatives - why can't we just hear from people for once?!? And it doesn't matter what the issue is either, because democrats think one way and republicans think another, and apparently there's no middle ground. You either hate babies or choice. You either hate the first Amendment or Jesus. You either hate marriage or liberty. Well screw that shit. I don't hate any of those things - I'm not a redneck or a communist! And I'm not a commie redneck either! But the whole proposition that there are only two views is ri-cock-ulous, and its about damn time the left and right open their eyes to the real world. Ri-fucking-cock-ulous. Bastards.
Whoa, sorry, what just happened there? I blacked out for a minute, and something about Simpsons and dichotomies and whoa, now I remember. Um, yeah, sorry. This wasn't going to start out as a true rant, just a mild observation. But something snapped. I guess I'm exposed to too much of that crap here. And it just makes me sick that sensible suggestions can't get any attention. But we'll leave it there for now. Sorry.